Deron Williams hopes to team up with Dwight Howard
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LAS VEGAS -- Deron Williams and Dwight Howard first started talking about joining forces -- in Orlando -- when they were Olympic teammates in 2008. Four years later, it appears closer to becoming a reality, but in Brooklyn.
The Nets and Magic are discussing a complicated deal that could include four teams, at least a dozen players, several draft picks -- and Howard ending up in Brooklyn.
Williams likes the sound of that and the Nets' future if the trade pans out.
"I think we'll be good," he said after the 2012 Olympic team practiced Monday. "I think we'll be one of the top teams in the East for sure, top teams in the NBA. It just depends on how everybody jells and comes together as a team. It took Miami a year, losing in the Finals, and this year, they came out and were better."
If the Nets can complete this deal, which would feature Brook Lopez going to Orlando and Kris Humphries to Cleveland in sign-and-trades, they would have their own Big Three of Williams, Howard and Joe Johnson.
"That's the way you got to go right now to compete with Miami," Williams said.
If this move happens, the Nets probably will become the best team in New York.
In one reported trade scenario, the Nets also would receive Jason Richardson and Earl Clark from the Magic and send Damion James, Shelden Williams and Armon Johnson to Orlando. They were looking for a fourth team to take MarShon Brooks.
Although the talks seemed to be picking up steam, Williams tempered his enthusiasm. The Nets were close to acquiring Howard several times last season, including right before the trade deadline. But Howard changed his mind (temporarily) and decided to stay in Orlando. Three months later, he requested a trade to the Nets -- again.
"That's why I'm not really concerning myself with it," Williams said. "This whole scenario already happened in February. Of course I'm going to welcome that trade. If it doesn't happen, I think we have a great group. I think Brook is a great player. I think he can be a special player, too, especially with the right players around him."
But it's clear Williams hopes it goes through. He said potentially building a championship-caliber team in Brooklyn is what's appealing to both of them. He has envisioned many times what it would be like to play with Howard, a six-time All-Star.
"It would be great," Williams said. "He's one of the top five players in the world and there's nobody like him in the NBA. Andrew Bynum is probably the closest thing as far as a low-post presence who likes to play on the block."
Williams will sign a five-year, $98-million contract Wednesday to remain with the Nets. They also agreed to terms with Gerald Wallace on a four-year, $40-million deal and acquired Johnson and the $90 million he has left on his contract.
Nets general manager Billy King flew here to give Williams his contract. Williams said King deserves credit for what he's done with the Nets.
"He's done a great job," Williams said. "He took a lot of risks, but I think he had to. He couldn't go into Brooklyn with the team we had last year. He made some bold moves. He took on some contracts people thought were questionable. I think ultimately it will pay off."